Renovation: Patio Doors

While going through my divorce I moved into a condominium. The rent was well below market for the area. I had good landlords and they were happy to keep the rent stable since I handled maintenance myself. I continued to rent for two years after my divorce was finalized. The price was good and the location is very close to my kids. I’ve gotten to know my neighbors and the area is nice. I offered to buy the unit. The landlords weren’t interested at first but they came back to me a year later. They are going into retirement. They offered a very good price so I bought the unit around the end of last year.

These condominiums were built in 1984. Several units were hit hard by flooding during Tropical Storm Allison. During the financial crisis a large percentage of the units were abandoned and several investors scooped them up as rental properties at 30% of market value. Those investors have been selling off the units for several years now and new owners are improving the units. My unit was in better shape than many but it still needs some TLC.

My plans will probably fall victim to the budget. There are a few structural repairs that are necessary and those could become expensive. I also think I’ll have to upgrade the HVAC. I’m hoping the efficiency improvements I make to the doors, windows, and sub-floor eliminate the immediate need for HVAC replacement. I’ve run some calculations on my energy consumption changes over the past year and my heat loss/gain and I think the HVAC must go. I’ll know for sure by June.

While I prepare for the bigger projects I decided to update the doors and windows. My old doors were not well insulated, did not meet the HOA nor windstorm guidelines and were leaking around the old weatherstripping. I’ll replace the windows in early May. I did the doors this week.

Rear Patio Sliding Door
The old patio door was single pane with an aluminum frame. It leaked around the edges in hard rain, the only type we get in Houston.

Rear Patio with Door Removed
The jambs on newer style doors are larger than the original. I couldn’t find any markings on the old door so I don’t know exactly how old it was or when it was installed. It took some work to prepare the opening for the new door.

Rear Patio Sliding Door Before Painting
The new door went in well. It is now flush against the inside of the wall and was just slightly thinner than the wall so some trim work was necessary.

Rear Patio Sliding Door After Painting
Everything really looks good after painting the trim. This is Sherwin Williams Alabaster SW7008.

Rear Patio Sliding Door Inside
I really like the flush mount look. I made a few measurements last night and the insulation factor is better. They let though significantly less noise as well. This was a nice start to the project.